Hyundai’s smallest SUV is bold and perky with a Cadillac-style mesh grille. Picture: SUPPLIED
Hyundai’s smallest SUV is bold and perky with a Cadillac-style mesh grille. Picture: SUPPLIED

Following in the footsteps of the compact Kona that was launched in SA in 2018, an even smaller Hyundai SUV has made its world debut at the New York International Auto Show.

Hyundai’s new entry-level SUV, called the Venue, is expected to be more affordable than the Kona, which is priced from R384,900. It will add to Hyundai’s existing SUV line-up that includes the Creta, Tucson and Santa Fe.

Due to go on sale in SA late in 2019 or early in 2020 as a model imported from India, the Venue will be available as a front-wheel-drive model with a decent 195mm ground clearance, says Deon Sonnekus, GM of corporate communications at Hyundai Automotive SA. The Venue borrows its slit-eyed headlamps from the Kona and Santa Fe, but has its own mesh-styled, Cadillac-like grille.

“The all-new Venue might be small in size, but it’s big on practicality and personality,” said Mike O’Brien, vice-president of product, corporate and digital planning for Hyundai Motor America.

“Its bold and unique character sets it apart from other SUVs on the market, offering a unique, entry-level vehicle for those consumers seeking savvy design with an abundance of standard safety, technology and connectivity features.”

The Venue is a front-wheel drive but has a generous 195mm ground clearance. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Venue is a front-wheel drive but has a generous 195mm ground clearance. Picture: SUPPLIED

It will be powered by a 1.6l four-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 90kW and 150Nm, paired with a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Hyundai has stacked the Venue with a lot of mod-cons including an infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, a driving mode selector that includes snow mode, a rear-view camera and heated front seats, among other items.

There will also be electronic driver aids including collision warning, lane-keep assist and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning.

Pricing and specifications of the Venue will be announced closer to the local launch.